Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Ann Thompson

Second Advisor

Dennis Dake


This study explores if media affect attention patterns for subjects reading text. A series of typography studies done in the mid-1990's show that typography for the computer screen does differ from print standards. A further review of the literature suggests that there is a difference in how the brain reacts to various media. Some of these variations indicate a decrease in attention and ability to concentrate. However, no studies have been done to confirm that the task of reading varies significantly dependent on media, nor has the research studied brain patterns of subjects' attention to reading materials using various media.;This exploratory study measuring the EEG of 15 female subjects indicates that 60% of the subject showed greater attention to reflective print media, 20% to CRT computer screens and the remaining subjects showed mixed reactions. A method is provided to statistically test these differences. Statistically significant differences appear in the information processing in the parietal lobes when comparing attention of readers using CRT and print and CRT screen and LCD screens. It appears that the flicker from the screen, while not consciously noticed, may be the cause of these differences.;If attention varies because of the medium, it has significant implications for distance education, the media and for industry in general. It will help professionals understand strengths and weaknesses of different media and to use each appropriately for delivery of information.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Joel Carl Geske



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

102 pages